Cleveland Public Theatre welcomes Nicole Sumlin as new Education Director

Cleveland Public Theatre’s (CPT) Executive Artistic Director Raymond Bobgan is proud to welcome Nicole Sumlin as the new Education Director. Nicole Sumlin’s extraordinary artistry, demonstrated leadership, and array of experience from in-school programming, out-of-school arts programs, and community-based engagement, align with CPT’s values and public commitment.

“My artistic work with CPT and its commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization sparked a desire to join that work in an even more significant way. Cleveland Public Theatre is using art to change lives and is continuing to do so as we live through a global pandemic. CPT’s education programs are transformative, and I’ve witnessed their impact since my husband’s tenure as CPT Education Associate years ago. I am excited to serve as Cleveland Public Theatre’s Education Director to join my hands to aid in the transformation happening throughout the city and beyond.” – Nicole Sumlin, CPT Education Director

Photo by Ellis Dawson III

Nicole Sumlin is an actor, singer, director, writer, producer, and educator. She served as Vocal Music Director for choral ensembles, Musical Director and Assistant Director for theatre productions, and ELA educator for thirteen years in Wheaton, IL, Mansfield, Ohio, and South Euclid, Ohio. In 2014, she was named Educator of the Year by the Ohio PTA Board’s 11th District. In 2016, she shifted her focus to performing arts instruction and clinician work with area choruses and theatre ensembles (including the Dazzle Awards at Playhouse Square, Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s All-City Musical, and Shining Star CLE) while continuing to perform in Cleveland and New York City. She recently served as Academy and Curriculum Manager at Cleveland Play House, where her responsibilities included managing its Theatre Academy and Summer Academy, as well as crafting and implementing professional development and audience engagement programs.

In 2019, she was awarded Best Actress in a Musical by the Cleveland Critics Circle for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grille at Beck Center for the Performing Arts. New York City performances include: Medusa (Medusa), Zu (Project Tiresias), Judge Jill Joyce (How to Be a Winner), and Columbiner (ReB+VoDkA+Me). Regional performances include: Breakout Session (or Frogorse) at Cleveland Public Theatre (Jessica Moore); Rastus and Hattie, also at CPT (Needra); A Raisin in the Sun at Ensemble Theatre (Ruth Younger); Treasure Island at Ohio Shakespeare Festival (Long John Silver); Memphis at Cain Park (Felicia); Children of Eden at French Creek Theatre (Eve/Mama Noah); The Music Man at Cain Park (Marian Paroo); Caroline or Change at Tantrum Theater (The Washing Machine); Minton’s Place at Cleveland Play House (Jennifer/Ensemble); Lines in the Dust at CPT (Denitra Morgan); Bourbon at the Border at The Maltz Museum (May); Songs for the Asking at Playhouse Square (Vocalist/Co-Creator); Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play at CPT (Jenny/Bart); Violet at Lakeland Civic Theatre (Lula Buffington); and A Civil War Christmas at Dobama Theatre (Elizabeth Keckley). Her cabaret show, Sing It All, debuted at The Bop Stop in 2018. She and her husband Eugene created Beauty for Ashes, a project celebrating their rich family history, which debuted at CPT’s Station Hope in 2016 and was remounted for the 2020 Station Hope virtual event. She has also been seen at The Fine Arts Association, Orchard Arts Project, Near West Theatre, Mercury Theatre Company, MOCA-CLE, Nighttown, and Severance Hall. She is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and studied voice at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. She is a proud AEA member.

Cleveland Public Theatre’s mission is to raise consciousness and nurture compassion through groundbreaking performances and life-changing education programs. CPT develops new, adventurous work; and nurtures Northeastern Ohio artists—particularly those whose work is inventive, intelligent, and socially conscious. CPT’s acclaimed education programs engage communities in devising new works that speak to contemporary issues, and empower participants to work for positive change in our community.

To schedule an interview or for information about Cleveland Public Theatre, please contact Caitlin Lewins, Director of Audience Engagement & Media Relations, at or 216-631-2727 x211, or visit

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